Democracts float legalization plan in proposed immigration reform

Green card: Democrats draft plan to legalize illegal immigrants

Three of the nation's top Democrats are drafting contingency plans for a new immigration reform bill.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Florida's Bob Menendez have floated a draft version of planned immigration reform.

The proposed reform includes the so-called two-tier approach where benchmarks on border security must be met in concert with immigration reform.

The proposal includes a path to legalization for illegal immigrants and could change the current family-based system to an employment-based system which would offer "low-tech" and "high-tech" visas. It would also crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

The Dems know that they need Republican support on this one and key targets include Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), George LeMieux (Fla.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Judd Gregg (N.H.) and Dick Lugar (Ind.).

Reid, Menendez and Schumer will sponsor the bill along with Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is the second ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.

The proposal will also need the support of moderate Republicans and Democrats so immigration activists will be encouraged to begin lobbying Congress to support the package.